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Flashcards in Neural causes of OCD Deck (6)
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1

Dopamine

- Neurotransmitter that affects mood and night be a cause of OCD.
- Frontal lobes in the brain have been liked to dopamine activity.
- OCD sufferers have high level of dopamine.
- Research conducted on animals has found that high doses of drugs that enhance dopamine levels can induce movements that resemble compulsive and repetitive behaviour.
- High dopamine is linked to over hyperactivity in the basal ganglia.

2

Serotonin

- Neurotransmitter that affects mood.
- Frontal lobes linked to serotonin activity.
- OCD sufferers have low levels of serotonin and can cause depressive like symptoms.
- It seems that low levels of serotonin can cause the caudate nucleus to malfunction.
- Caudate nucleus plays a vital role in how the brain learns specifically the storing and processing of memories. It works as a feedback processor so it uses info from past to influence future actions.

3

Strength: Research support

- Research support that neurotransmitters cause OCD: Anti-depressants that increase serotonin had led to reduction of OCD symptoms.
- Ciccerone (2000) study shows that giving OCD patients low doses of a drug that lowered Dopamine levels, reduced some OCD symptoms.
- Menzies (2007) studies MRI scans in OCD patients and their immediate family members and compared them with healthy controls. It was found that OCD patients and family had reduced grey matter in key regions and unusual neuroanatomy. Concluded that OCD can be caused by abnormal brain structure and inherited by genes.

4

Weakness: Cause and effect

- Dopamine and serotonin might not necessarily cause OCD but might be the effect of OCD. We must be careful looking at cause and effect with neurotransmitters.

5

Neuroanatomy Jenike and Rauch

- OCD patients were studied using PET scans. They were shown an image of a trigger e.g something dirty if they had a cleaning obsession.
- Evidence found that frontal lobes an d the basal ganglia were the most active and basal ganglia was overactive.
- Basal ganglia seems to malfunction in OCD sufferers.
- B.G refers to a series of interconnected brain structures in front of the brain like Orbital Frontal Cortex.
- An overactive basal ganglia and OFC can lead to repetitive motor functions.

6

Weakness: Reductionist

- Neural explanation suggests that the levels of neurotransmitters is the cause of OCD therefore it suggests that OCD is a product of an individual's nature.
- This is a problem as biological approach to explaining OCD can be seen to be too simplistic as it ignores the role of other factors such as childhood experience and the role of learning in development of abnormalities.